Ruger 220 Swift


May 8, 2006, 06:35 PM
I picked this up in about 1990 because I liked the looks of the rifle and not because of any wild thoughts about the Swift Cartridge. Most of my loads have been 22-250 level with 50 grain bullets at mid 3600s.

It got a moderate amount of use back when I was hunting and I won't specify what all I shot with it. I will say that I picked my shots and never lost a game animal with it- or a varmint. Back then, I was shooting .4-.9" groups at 100 yards with every load I tried except the 40 grain bullet SR 4759 loads that developed 22 rimfire magnum velocities. Those did 1 to 1.1" I loaded it from 222 Remington velocities to sub max 22-250 and got the same sort of accuracy across the board and with bullets ranging from the Sierra Match Hollow points to the old Nosler solid base- pre ballistic tip. the 50 grain BTs were particularly useful.

I started out today with a box of those Ballistic Tips loaded in 11-1993 with 43 grains of IMR 4350 and recording 3640 fps. Pushing 13 years old and I shot my worst group ever with a full load in this rifle - 1.1" at 100 yards. This is not bad as I was using a make-shift bench rest and am not that good a rifle shot anyway. The Ruger has a 6 pound trigger pull but I just work around it. Refining my sight picture, I shot this one. Three shots, then clicked over a quarter minute and two more. One of the three touching is a 40 grain Federal V-Shok. I just wanted to see if it would work with the same sight picture
The hole one inch down was already there and was my aiming point.

the Federal VSHOKS claim 4250 fps and are probably not far from that. Haven't chronographed them. They claim a 5.5" drop at 300 yards with a 100 yard zero. Should be pretty flat with the rifle sighted like mine- about zero at 200 yards.
I never let much copper fouling build up in this rifle and have never gotten the barrel particularly hot.

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Art Eatman
May 8, 2006, 07:26 PM
That's similar to the heavy barrelled version I had back in the 1970s. Sweet critter. I installed a Canjar single-set trigger. Off the bench I usually got five-shot groups around 1/2 MOA or a skosh under. 52-grain Sierra HPBT at around 3,600 or 3,700, I disremember.

Really sweet rifle. You have a real keeper, there.

I inherited my father's Model 70 Swift. I can get just inside one MOA with it. But, it's with his last reloads, from around the mid-1970s. :) Old ammo ain't necessarily bad...


May 8, 2006, 07:38 PM
The best groups I shot with this one were with the Sierra HPBTs going a good bit slower than your load. I liked the old solid base bullets because they were tough and tended to expand rather than come unraveled even at relatively high velocities. Used one on one of those game animals I didn't mention and it worked very well.
I used the 50 grain BT on a turkey at 100 yards Just aimed to hit where his wings joined the back bone and lost zero meat.

Art Eatman
May 8, 2006, 07:56 PM
Sounds like you figured out the deal on Sierra bullets. The same deal holds for flat-base vs. boat-tail in 30-caliber, as well.

My primary targets were feral house cats at around 300 yards. I'd sit out in the evening behind my corral, overlooking a swale-like valley. I'd halfway regularly see some town-folks' "drop off" kitty. I liked my quail birds a lot more than stray cats. Mr. Swift woulld sure slow 'em down.


May 8, 2006, 09:32 PM
I've also got a .220 77 heavy barrel (pre-warning). It is indeed a sweet rifle. Haven't taken her dancing in far too long, though - will have to see to that sometime soon.

May 8, 2006, 10:18 PM
"Mr. Swift woulld sure slow 'em down."
Or speed them up
Either would be correct.

September 3, 2006, 01:07 PM
I spot checked the zero yesterday and ran one across the chronograph. The advertised velocity of 4250 fps is pretty close as this one clocked 4233. I believe the factories round up.

this rifle has always been a good walking around gun. I've loaded it down to 2100 fps with speer 40 grain bullets, accross the performance levels of the 222 and .223 with 55 -62 grain bullets and most of my shooting has been done with 55 grain ballistic tips at 3640

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